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Courtesy The White House/Gary Miller/FilmMagicBarack Obama may no longer be POTUS, but he's killing it on Twitter.

After the former president vacated the office last week, he resumed tweeting from his personal, @BarackObama, which he's had since 2007.  Since then, he's been steadily gaining in followers, and as of Monday evening he'd tied Taylor Swift, who is the third most-followed person in the world, behind Katy Perry and Justin Bieber.

As of Monday evening, Obama and Taylor both had 83.2 million followers.  Justin has 91.4 million followers, and Katy has 95.5 million.  Taylor hasn't commented on the fact that the former POTUS has caught up to her.

Omer Ginor, the managing director of TwitterCounter, told the New York Post that Obama could surpass Taylor soon, considering he's racked up 2.5 million followers in three days.

By the way, Donald Trump's personal Twitter account had 21.7 million followers as of Monday.

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Nick WalkerPhillip Phillips hails from Albany, Georgia, which was devastated over the weekend by a number of lethal tornadoes.  It's no wonder that Phillip is now planning to play a benefit show to help those impacted by the storms.

Bo Henry, a local musician and businessman, told The Albany Herald that Phillip, as well as country superstar Luke Bryan, have agreed to perform, and that he is currently working out the details. 

Henry told the paper, “This recovery effort is going to be here for the long haul. So many people want to help, to volunteer, and that means so much to the victims of these storms. But we reached out in our devastation to the guys who can really raise money, enough to make a big difference in our region.”

On Monday, Phillip tweeted, "Pray for my city. My hometown. So much devistation [sic], so many lives taken and so many blessed to be alive. Just keep everyone here in mind."

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Katie YuThe first official trailer has been released for Lifetime’s Britney Spears biopic, Britney Ever After.

The clip focuses on Britney’s infamous 2007 meltdown and shows scenes of her being followed by paparazzi, performing on stage and shaving her head. The pop star is played by Natasha Bassett in the movie.

“I’m not going to say I was fine, because I wasn’t,” Bassett as Britney says in a voiceover. “Everything’s just kind of this blur, you know. Until you hit rock bottom.”

“I want to be strong for my fans,” she adds. “They’re what keeps me going.”

Britney Ever After premieres on Lifetime on February 18. The film has not been authorized by Britney.

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You know her name, but do you know her story? #BritneyEverAfter premieres, February 18th at 8/7c. pic.twitter.com/IADZsZe9x2

— Lifetime (@lifetimetv) January 23, 2017

 

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Greg WilliamsEd Sheeran takes a trip down memory lane for his new “Castle on the Hill” video.

The visual for the nostalgic tune is set in Ed’s hometown of Framlingham, England and even features a younger Ed lookalike. The teenage version of Ed acts out the lyrics of the song as he’s seen hanging out with friends, sharing some beers, smoking hand-rolled cigarettes and having his first kiss. Those scenes are intercut with shots of grownup Ed wistfully roaming the countryside.

Ed co-produced the video and used kids from the school he attended. “Loved filming this in [Framlingham]. All these kids are actually from my high school! Go watch it & share it far and wide,” he tweeted.

Last week, Ed’s other single, “Shape of You,” debuted at number one of the Billboard Hot 100. “Castle on the Hill” came in at number six, making him the first act to debut two songs in the top 10 at the same time.

Meanwhile, Ed has been announced as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on February 11. It'll be his second time performing on the show. Alec Baldwin will host for a record-breaking 17th time.

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Getty Images via ABCRihanna is a bad gal and nasty woman. The singer was spotted protesting during New York City's Women's March over the weekend in front of Trump Tower, the building President Donald Trumpowns on Fifth Avenue.

A fellow protester captured RiRi chanting "Welcome to your first day, we will not go away" on video, which was posted on Twitter

RiRi shared a few Instagram photos, including one of the superstar standing among a number of protest signs, showing her further support of the rally. 

"So proud to be a woman! So proud of the women around the world who came together today for pro-choice!" she wrote in the caption.    

Saturday's Women's March event in Washington, D.C., which was organized to raise awareness of a variety of social justice and human rights issues, became a global movement.  

Thousands of people in cities worldwide -- including Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Mexico City and London -- united in support of the cause during Trump's presidential inauguration weekend. 

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Image Group LA/ABCJohn Legend is taking the high road after revealing a recent incident where he was called a "monkey" by a photographer.

Legend's wife, Chrissy Teigen, first tweeted about the incident, explaining the couple were at New York's John F. Kennedy airport when a paparazzi began to harass them.

“Paparazzi at JFK just asked me 'If we evolved from monkeys, why is John Legend still around?' – and people wonder why celebs lose it in pics,” Teigen wrote after the racially-charged encounter happened.

Legend then recounted the incident at the Variety Studio on Saturday, while promoting his WGN series Underground at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The Oscar-winner explained that although he was initially shocked by the action, he wasn't altogether surprised by the paps' ignorant comment.

“We were right next to each other and we looked at each other like, ‘Did he really just say that?’ And he really said it. He basically called me a monkey,” John told the magazine.

“Black folks have had to deal with being called monkeys for a long time and dehumanization has always been kind of a method of racism and subjugation of black people and that’s just part of American history — and it’s part of the present, apparently.”

Fortunately, Legend says that he's not letting the unfortunate incident bring him down.  Instead, he's taking the high road because now he's "smarter" and "stronger."

“We saw with the former president, Obama, whenever people wanted to discount him or discount his wife, they compared them to apes," he explained.  

"And we’ve seen that frequently. I’m not hurt by someone saying that to me because I’m smarter, I’m stronger. I look down on that person that would say something like that. But it’s a shame that it still exists.” 

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XL/Columbia RecordsAdele, James Bay and Ed Sheeran are among Britain's 500 Most Influential People, according to a U.K. company that's been around since 1769.

The company, Debrett's, has recognized "people of influence and achievement in British society" for more than two hundred years.  In 2014, it launched Debrett's 500, which highlights "the most influential, inspiring and high achieving individuals" across Britain.

The 500 "influencers" are chosen from a variety of fields, including music.  In that category, Adele, James and Ed are all named, as well as Simon Cowell, Chris Martin of Coldplay, producer Mark Ronson of "Uptown Funk" fame, DJ and Taylor Swift ex Calvin Harris, girl group Little Mix, and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction.  Oddly, no other members of One Direction made the list.

Adele was, naturally, tops on the list, thanks to the success of her album 25 -- the fastest-selling disc in U.K. chart history -- and her sold-out world tour, which will end this summer in London.

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Paul Morigi/WireImageThere were lots of celebrity speakers at the Women’s March on Washington Saturday, but perhaps none of them made the headlines that surprise speaker Madonna did.

She defended remarks she made at the event, including the lines: "Yes, I'm angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House, but I know that this won't change anything. We cannot fall into despair."

"I am not a violent person, I do not promote violence and it's important people hear and understand my speech in it's entirety rather than one phrase taken wildly out of context," she wrote on Instagram Sunday.

"My speech began with 'I want to start a revolution of love.' I then go on to take this opportunity to encourage women and all marginalized people to not fall into despair but rather to come together and use it as a starting point for unity and to create positive change in the world," she said.

"I spoke in metaphor and I shared two ways of looking at things -- one was to be hopeful, and one was to feel anger and outrage, which I have personally felt," Madonna added. "However, I know that acting out of anger doesn't solve anything. And the only way to change things for the better is to do it with love."

The singer ended her statement with saying that it was "an honor to be part of an audience chanting 'we choose love.'"

Kellyanne Conway, special counselor to President Trump, called out Madonna for her "profanity-laced" speech Sunday on ABC's This Week.

"You have a very prominent singer who's worth hundreds of millions of dollars not going over to a woman's shelter here in D.C. to write a check, but instead saying that she thought of, quote, 'burning down the White House,'" Conway said.

By the way, Taylor Swift's normally not one to get political, but she made a mild exception for the Women's March, tweeting Saturday. "So much love, pride, and respect for those who marched. I'm proud to be a woman today, and every day."

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Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Fontainebleau Miami BeachJustin Bieber just threw a little shade at his ex Selena Gomez's reported boyfriend, The Weeknd.

When a TMZ reporter caught up with Bieber on his way out of a West Hollywood eatery Friday and asked if the "Sorry" singer could listen to a Weeknd song, Justin replied, "Hell no, I can't listen to a Weeknd song," adding, "That s*** is wack."

Gomez, 24, and The Weeknd, 26, have been working on new music together and were also reportedly spotted making out with each other earlier this month. 

Bieber, 22, and Gomez dated on and off for three years before calling it quits for good in 2014.

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Greg WilliamsIf you think it'd be great to have Ed Sheeran as a boyfriend, you may want to reconsider -- this is a guy whose idea of a hot date is the girl sitting there while he builds Lego sets.

Appearing on the British talk show The Graham Norton Show, Ed admitted that when he finally started making money, he didn't splurge on fancy cars or a big house: he bought toys instead.

"Any good parent will know...if a kid wants a Lego set, you get them the small one, you don’t get them the big one that’s like 359 [pounds]," said Ed. "So when my album went to number one, I was passing the Lego store and I saw the big Death Star [set] and I went, 'You know what? It’s time.'”

In fact, Ed loves the plastic blocks so much that, he revealed, "I once went on a date and brought a Lego set and made the Lego set and then left."  As the audience cracked up, a horrified Norton asked him exactly what he built on that date.

"A Pirates of the Caribbean pirate ship," Ed replied sheepishly. "I hope you gave it to her as a gift at the end!" Norton scolded him.  An even more sheepish Ed said, "Uh, no."  No wonder he has a song called "Lego House" on his first album.

And it's not just Legos that Ed spends his money on.  He revealed that when he buys toys for actual kids, he buys even better ones for himself.

"I went to buy my goddaughter a Ninja Turtle toy for her birthday," he said. "And then...there was a huge Ninja Turtle truck, and I was looking at the small toy I got for her and the big truck and I was like, 'I’m getting that for me!'”

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Image Group LA/ABCThe Chainsmokers have scored a string of hits with singles featuring female singers who were either relatively unknown, or very up-and-coming: Rozes, Daya, Halsey, Phoebe Ryan and, on their new song "Paris," Emily Warren, who's uncredited.  The Grammy-nominated duo says they like to mix things up with every track.

"I think it's really important to always be having, you know, an eclectic interest in music because there's so...many great things," the duo's Drew Taggart tells ABC Radio. "People do things so differently that you can pull just different things from all your favorite pieces. And I think our music is like a collage of everything that we've ever been into."

It's no wonder that the duo's EP, released this past November, is called Collage.  But where do the Chainsmokers find all these undiscovered or semi-undiscovered collaborators?

"We're both music fanatics, so we're listening to tons and tons of new music," the duo's Alex Pall tells ABC Radio. "Obviously stuff that's popular and then stuff that's, like, unknown. There are lots of great websites were you can find new songs, indie artists that are unsigned -- that's obviously a great place to find them."  

Not long ago, the Chainsmokers themselves were somewhat unknown -- they had one novelty hit, "#Selfie," but that was it. Now, thanks to "Closer," everyone knows their name, and they've scored three nominations at next month's Grammy Awards, not to mention a residency at the Wynn Las Vegas.

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ABC NewsRachel Platten and a songwriter for One Direction spoke out on Twitter after their songs were performed at Donald Trump's inaugural ball on Friday.

One of the performers, The Piano Guys, performed a mash-up of "Amazing Grace" and Rachel's "Fight Song," despite the fact that "Fight Song" was used at many Hillary Clinton campaign rallies last year, and was also played at the Democratic National Convention.

A clearly upset Rachel tweeted, "While I respect the office of the President and the peaceful transfer of power, I want to make clear that at no point did the Piano Guys ask for permission, nor did I or anyone on my team know of, approve or endorse their decision to play Fight Song tonight."

The Piano Guys also performed One Direction's hit "What Makes You Beautiful" at the ball, leading the man who wrote it, Savan Kotecha, to take to Twitter to denounce the performance.

“They were absolutely NOT given permission to use WMYB at the inaugural ball. I will be looking into taking action,” Kotecha tweeted. "There’s nothing I can do re WMYB now, but the song was written out of love for my wife. It’s just heartbreaking that it was used to celebrated [sic] a man who stands for divisiveness.”

In their defense, the Piano Guys later tweeted, "Our performance tonight, which combined "Fight Song" and "Amazing Grace" had nothing to do with Hillary Clinton or politics...We chose to perform our version of "Fight Song/Amazing Grace" - it was not endorsed by Rachel Platten. We love Rachel and we love her song."

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ABC/Randy HolmesOn Friday, John Mayer released "Wave One" of his new album The Search for Everything: He plans to release four songs a month, every month.  John also spoke to Rolling Stone about what inspired the new songs.

The single "Love on the Weekend," John says, was inspired by Los Angeles. "The reason I love L.A. is because it's the world's greatest backdrop for love," he says. "There is a culture here of the lovers' getaway."

"Moving On and Getting Over" was inspired by a breakup, but John says that by the time he was done with it, he was feeling more hopeful and less heartbroken. "The end has a jam...," he says. "If I'd had to finish this song a year ago, it wouldn't have this ending. This ending is me coming back to it two years later and going, 'I've moved on, so it gets a happy ending.'"

"Changing" is what John calls "the spiritual centerpiece of the album," and says the whole first verse came to him in an instant.  But that was only 30 seconds, so he then had to turn it into an actual song.  "It sounds simple, but it took forever," he recalls.

"You're Gonna Live Forever in Me" is a song that John describes as "open and revealing." He says he wrote it one night, and adds, "What you hear on the song is the original take. I couldn't sing the vocals again if I tried."

John will continue to release new songs in the next few months, and the entire physical album will arrive in the spring.

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ABC/Craig SjodinAdam Levine's new movie must be pretty good: It hasn't even had its world premiere and it's already gotten deals for theatrical and online distribution.

Deadline reports that Netflix will have the streaming video-on-demand rights for the movie, Fun Mom Dinner, while eOne's Momentum Pictures will distribute the movie in theaters.  The deals are said to be worth $5 million.

As previously reported, the movie stars Adam as a bar owner who plays a pivotal role in a night out planned by four moms which takes an unexpected turn. In addition to the Maroon 5 frontman, Molly Shannon, Adam Scott, Toni Collette, Bridget Everett and Katie Aselton star in the film, which marks the directorial debut of Alethea Jones.

The movie will world-premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 27.

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RCA Records/Walt Disney RecordsPink's "Just Like Fire" and Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop the Feeling!" are eligible to receive Oscar nominations on Tuesday, but for now, they'll have to be content with nominations from the Guild of Music Supervisors.

The awards recognize music supervisors -- the people who select the music for media such as films, TV, games and movie trailers -- but also songs themselves.  Justin and Pink are both nominated in the category of Best Song/Recording Created for a Film: Justin's #1 hit was from Trolls, while Pink's was from Alice Through the Looking Glass.

The other nominees include "City of Stars," from La La Land, and Twenty One Pilots' hit "Heathens," from Suicide Squad.

The awards will take place February 16 at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles.

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Joseph LlanesA Great Big World is ready to take on North America with a brand new headlining tour.

The Grammy-winning duo -- Ian Axel and Chad King -- will kick things off on March 17 in Annapolis, Maryland. Throughout the 10-show trek, they’ll hit cities like Boston, Chicago and New York, before wrapping in Minneapolis on March 28.

This tour, in support of the duo's current album When The Morning Comes,  is being described as an “unplugged” acoustic set. Tickets are on sale now at AGreatBigworld.com.

Here are the dates:

3/17 -- Ram’s Head On Stage, Annapolis, MD
3/18 -- The Hamilton, Washington, DC
3/20 -- World Cafe Live, Philadelphia, PA
3/21 -- Brighton Music Hall, Boston MA
3/22 -- Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield, CT
3/23 -- Le Poisson Rouge, New York, NY
3/25 -- Mod Club, Toronto, ON
3/26 -- The Ark, Ann Arbor, MI
3/27 -- Space, Chicago, IL
3/28 -- Skyway Theatre - Studio B, Minneapolis, MN

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Luke GilfordTroye Sivan’s latest music video, for the song “Heaven”, pays tribute to LGBT activism. The black-and-white clip features Troye in a man’s embrace, intercut with archival footage of gay rights protests.

Troye, who came out as gay when he was 15, says in a statement, "We have always been here. We will always be here. This video is dedicated to all who've come before me and fought for our cause and those who now continue the fight. In dark and light times, let's love forever."

The Australian singer tells Vulture that he wrote the song about his experience of being closeted as a young teen. He says the video was inspired by the 2012 AIDS documentary How to Survive a Plague.

“I wanted to take a more historical, factual approach to this video,” he says. “I think at times that can be more powerful. I think it’s a story that is seldom told.”

Troye adds, “I really, desperately wanted to pay tribute to and say thank you to those people who came before me.”

"Heaven," featuring Betty Who, is the latest single off Troye's Blue Neighbourhood album.

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XL Recordings/Columbia; Parkwood/ColumbiaHeading into next month's Grammy Awards, Adele's 25 and Beyonce's Lemonade might seem evenly matched when it comes to the Album of the Year race.  Both women are multiple Grammy winners, critical darlings and top sellers.  However, Billboard reports that Beyonce is likely to walk away with the night's most prestigious honor, because Grammy voters don't like reruns.

Billboard notes that in the entire history of the Grammy Awards, only five music artists have won Album of the Year more than once: U2, Taylor Swift, Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder.  Since Adele has already won Album of the Year -- for her album 21 -- voters are likely to give someone else a chance, and Beyonce has never won this particular category.

Also working against Adele is the fact that her album came out all the way back in 2015, while Beyonce's album, released in early 2016, feels fresher and more of a reflection of what's happening in the world today.  Not only that, but critics liked Lemonade more than 25 -- according to Metacritic, the site that aggregates all reviews, Lemonade got a 92 percent positive rating, versus 25's 75 percent.

One Grammy voter tells Billboard, "The Grammys like to give album of the year to the person who really opened up a personal journal. Last time, that was Adele, but this time it was Beyoncé." 

Another voter tells the publication, "I think a lot of people feel we're overdue to really reward Beyoncé for her Beyoncé-ness."

However, Adele is favored to win either Record or Song of the Year -- or both -- for "Hello."

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Columbia RecordsJohn Mayer's just released his first new batch of songs since 2013's Paradise Valley. As he announced a few weeks ago, he's putting out his new album The Search for Everything in groups of four songs, every month. This first batch is an EP called The Search for Everything: Wave One.

"The Search for Everything Wave One is out now. I can’t wait for you to hear it," John said on Twitter. "My heart’s racing. These songs represent literally hundreds of hours of living inside of these little worlds. And more to come."

John recorded the new music with the same lineup he used for his album Continuum, including Steve Jordan on drums and Pino Palladino on bass.  The songs range from the mellow first single to "Love on the Weekend," to the self-reflective ballad "Changing," the more funky, uptempo "Moving on and Getting Over," and the touching "You're Gonna Live Forever in Me," which recalls the Eagles' classic Desperado.

It's not clear exactly when we can expect the next batch of songs.

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Trae Patton/CBSThis isn't exactly a surprise, but Adele will be returning to the stage at next month's Grammy Awards.

Adele is up for five Grammys this year, including Album of the Year for 25 and Record and Song of the Year for "Hello."  She already has 10 Grammys on her trophy shelf.  It's not clear which song Adele will be singing: last year, her performance of "All I Ask" was marred by technical difficulties.

Adele is also a pal of Grammy host James Corden; her installment of his Carpool Karaoke is the most-viewed of all time.

The 59th annual Grammy Awards will air Sunday, February 12 on CBS.

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